Teens....problems...what to do?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by doodlebug, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    My husband and I work with the teens at our church. We are not the youth leaders, but we do teach one class on Sunday evenings during Training Union time. It's a co-ed class and we just have a basic Bible study and allow the kids to ask questions or sometimes we just have serious discussions. Anyhow, one family in our church does foster care for teenage boys. The three boys they have now are a diverse bunch. One boy is 13, and has been sharing his background with us as well as the group. Please note that we are in a rural area of Kentucky. Some of this is a shock to our teens (they come from a home where their parents are still together, well to do, naive to some of the realities of the world, etc). So, this boy is sharing his story tonight while we are on our way home from an activity. He tells about drug use, his father being in jail, his trips to juvenile detention, and then says that he is committed to the state until he turns 18. He continues to tell how he has slept with older and younger girls, stole cars, etc. I was so sad for him. He doesn't know anything else. The more he told, the sadder I got. Then he told me who his father was. I went to school with his dad. This child didn't have a chance from the day he was born. He's lost. He's into "gansta rap", Tupac, 50 cent, and uses the "n" word. He is bi-racial. He is very street savy. I have no idea how to get through to him. But, the mere fact that I said I went to school with his Dad resulted in him hugging me (with dh and foster parents' permission of course). I don't know what happened, but he formed a little bit of a bond with me. Perhaps it was just that I expressed my interest in him....or who knows? Now, how do I get through to him? How can I break through the "gangsta" mentality and share God with him??
    Last, I got home, and hubby came in the door after dropping off a couple of our teens. One girl who came tonight hasn't been to class in months. She showed up tonight, and was very quiet. She seemed happy to be with us. She hugged me afterwards and said she was going to try to get back to class. She has a lot of problems -- she is bi-polar, adhd, etc. Her mother is the same. She lives with her grandmother and some cousins (whom the grandmother has been raising since birth as well). They are poor and have had a lot of problems. She turned 18 a while back, and she started dating a nearly retarded fellow. My husband came in and said the grandmother stopped him before he left. She confided this girl found out today that she is 3 months pregnant. There is a good chance since she was on bi-polar meds, and the father is almost retarded that this baby will have a lot of problems. What do we do? Without condoning premarital sex, how can we support her? Do we have to seperate her from the group?
    Can someone recommend a book, or website that can help us with these "new-to-us" problems in our teen group? Please remember J and K in prayer. God knows their names. Thanks.
     
  2. gb93433

    gb93433
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    You can help people that want help. Those kind of kids need direction discipline and love. They need all three at the same time. You will have to overlook a lot of their past to be able to help them. They need lots of acceptance. If you let the past keep ypou from helping them then you are the wrong person to help them. Keep in mind it is not so much where they have been but where they are going which is important.

    Gte past the surface things such as poor choices in music to Christ and reading the Bible and teaching them how to make wise choices. Their poor choices will be known to them as they know and learn to make wise choices by knowing what wise choices are and look like.

    Don't spend a lot of time in trying to sorrectr the past but in leading them and pointing them in the right direction for the future. Try to get them around other kids who will accept them and be a good influence. You would be amazed at what a good influence would do to help them.

    Just a few years ago I met with a group of people my wife and I had gotten to know. One was a lady who had been a stripper, another was a part of a bar that played in bars. Another couple was as clean as they come. But as time went by the one who seemed so clean began to talk about how they had marriage problems. The one who was a stripper began to talk about how Christ was changing her life. The man who was playing in bars now leads a church music ministry and teaches people how to make disciples. One of the couple had a husband who died in the church. It was that Bible study who helped her financially and in many practical ways.

    I would sugegst that you pray for each person by name and pray with them. You would be amazed at what God can due even in a short amount of time.

    Do not let the roughness scare you. Often those people know they need help and will receive it. I find it easier to help those kind of people than the people who are good pews sitters and never cause any trouble.
     
  3. chadnrachel

    chadnrachel
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    All children (and people) want to be loved. Sometimes they may not seem like it...sometimes they will try to push you away with rough exteriors, but they are just trying to protect their hearts.

    They need love.

    Let them know you care and that God cares.

    It's hard to watch kids that seem to have no hope...but there are so many examples in history of people who came out of harsh backgrounds to become great....like the symbolic Phoenix from the ashes.

    One thing I would hammer home, besides love, is that they CONTROL their future. How do they want their future to end up? What can they do to attain that future? I always told my students, "You control you." I wish we could control them and make their decisions for them...but we can't.

    Try to give them alternatives....alternative activities....alternative approaches to tough decisions...alternative methods to respond to peer pressure.

    Remind them that Jesus was treated as an earthly fatherless child....

    John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

    He was made to feel as a reject, an unwanted person. But he knew His heavenly father cared for him....always there....always listening....always loving.

    Furthermore, if the one child keeps bragging about his sinful life, I would have a private conversation with him about why he should not be proud of these things (sin). It will affect the other kids.

    Pro 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

    But rather he needs to focus on:

    Phi 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Finally, this website has helped me as a teacher to identify the root of problems/behaviors...maybe it would help?

    http://www.disciplinehelp.com/

    Although this website is for education (and you speak of a church teen group) I would suggest many of the same intervention methods. Although this is through a church, you still must be careful. Children who are prone to explosive or volatile emotions are a risk...but one worth risking for. However, keep in mind the following:

    1. Never touch a child in a negative way or in a wrong way.
    2. Never be alone with a child. Always have others present in the room.
    3. If driving with mixed gendered children or alone with an opposite gendered child...it is just a good idea to have them ride in the backseat.
    4. Always pray for the kids. Don't take things they say to heart....but pray.
    5. Legally, if a child divulges information to you of current abuse...you are required (no matter what promises you have made) to report it.
    6. Try to reach their parents/guardians for the Lord.
    7. Buy them a Bible...encourage them to grow in the Lord (pray and read daily).
    8. Never divulge private information to these kids.
    9. Just love them. :)
     
  4. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    You certainly have a lot going on here and this is a subject that I have an interest in so I would like to offer some thoughts.

    I could tell you where I would start with the 13 year old. I would start talking to him about “values” where they come from, where they will bring you, and how to change them with the help of God. The blessings for obeying God and His will for your life that is all explained in “the instruction Book of life” that God in His love for mankind wrote for those who believe in Him that they might know the real meaning of love. I would also explain the work of the Devil and how he wishes to destroy lives and how he does it through things like tearing families apart and by using tools such as sex, drugs, violence, hatred and lying; how it all works and how he can defeat it In Christ.

    I would do a study with him in on at least the first few chapters of Proverbs reading the scriptures with him and stopping to discuss the meaning and importance of Godly wisdom and how it applies to his actual real life experiences. I would talk about the blessings of being persecuted for Jesus sake mentioning ‘values” a lot. Go over Matthew chapters 5,6, and 7 stopping to discuss what the scripture is talking about. I might get into the wrath of God toward evil depending on his understanding of who God is.

    I would probably get into how God may be working in his life right now to help him and how he needs to hear what God is saying to him and understand that the Devil wants to lie to him. I would point out the good things in his heart and how he knows that there is good and evil, morality exists in God’s creatures and to follow his heart in truth asking God to guide him. I would go into the many blessings by God for righteous living at every opportunity weighing that against the destruction caused by the “liar”. What does he “value” would be a question often asked to get him thinking.

    I would encourage him to pray to God to receive wisdom and understanding and watch to see how God will work in his life.

    On the drugs I would point out in many ways how it affects his thinking and how he is worshipping an evil spirit instead of being comforted by the Holy Spirit with his mind in that condition all the while with the “liar” telling him if it feels good now do it.


    Hope something here helps.
     
  5. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    On the sex I have this to offer, let me know what you think and how I might improve it.

    I’ve been working to articulate a message built upon the foundation that the blessings of God will come from doing things His way, by His plan. He has gifts for us and makes promises which become blessings for those that can hear Him and walk as children of the light.

    For example how special would it be to have only known your life companion in a sexual intimate way having not shared a sexual experience with anyone else; this special bond of only knowing each other this way is something that is treasured in marriage. It is harder to throw away this special intimate bonding between two people when the challenging trials of this life weigh heavily on them. It will make a marriage stronger in that this special bond is not taken so lightly with a feeling they have little to lose as it can never be replaced.

    The tape comparison:

    Let’s compare your virginity or sexual experience to a piece of tape stuck to your arm and you only get one piece. When you have sex with another you must take the tape off your arm which at first is stuck very well and you will feel the strong pull when taking it off sharing it by putting it on your partners arm. Now in regards of sharing this emotional attachment in other than a godly manner through marriage your relationship will not be blessed by God, it has everything going against it and odds are this relationship will soon fail so you must take back the tape and put it back on your own arm again but now it doesn’t stick as well and you have suffered loss in the strength of the attachment. Then the next time temptation hits it’s easier to take off the tape as the value of the attachment isn’t as strong, there is less pull to begin with and then when you place it on your new partners arm this “tape” that is now less bonding doesn’t hold near as well as before your first failure that had no blessing. So the story goes on again and so on until the tape has little or no ability to be a bonding agent. The value of this intimate sexual act becomes less and less of a special bonding attachment each time now being a worn out stick it anywhere piece of tape nothing adhering about it, the slightest deflection and it falls off, useless in its original purpose.

    If you value the strength of this blessing and bonding to begin with you will save it for that special person whom you want to spend your life with and will share this special experience between you and them only. Not many people will understand the value of this blessing and you might have to explain it to them and how much YOU value it. If they then try to push you to give up this blessing it is a sign that they don’t care about your feelings and respect your values nor love you because if they truly did they would not want to take this away from you. It can help you to judge their true feelings if they don’t respect your values.

    Humans confuse lust with love but God knows love and has instructed us spiritual beings who were designed by Him, He knows our needs and when we righteously follow His instructions we will see His blessings in our marriage. Animals are simply lead by their instincts to breed but us humans also have a soul and a mind with reasoning abilities given to us by God and he given us instructions to follow with a purpose that one should understand is for the good. How He will bless us in the depth of a true deep marital love is often missed in the value of only sharing this experience with your life partner so in ignorance and desire to fulfill human lust many will throw it all away and many will not value this knowledge for the here and now letting their animal side of lust control their lives instead of trusting in the spirit of promise by God. Satan loves to use these emotions as a weapon to rob us of our blessings, to destroy marriages and families by taking away strong attachments, the consequences may even lead to the spread of diseases that would not be spread if we followed God’s instructions; Satan uses these things to weaken us and destroy our commitments. For this reason you should be aware that you do have an animal side with lusts, a “liar” that will tell you it’s not to be valued, and the wise should avoid situations of temptations that they can not handle with spiritual maturity, and you must take the responsibility on and also let your values be known of to your partner; they will listen to your values and admire your trusting obedience to God if they respect you and your God. If they will not support your decision to wait what does that say to you about their motives for this relationship, is it lead by lust or love?
     
  6. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    One more thing I thought of on the tape thing since he has already used it that you could explain is that even an old piece of used tape if were to be placed in the “light” of the sun (Son) may once again become sticky comparing to that God does forgive those who repent and are born again in the Spirit.

    Something like that for encouragement might be called for.
     
  7. DodgeRamFanatic

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    I will definitely be praying for these teens. I agree, it is so important to accept and love people like that. No fake stuff or just toleration--because they'll be able to sense that, and you'll come across as a phony. Sounds like you've established something sepcial between you and the guy anyways. Work on building that, and make them both feel cool. :thumbs: Prayin' for ya!
    DRF
     

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